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Whether sharing the bandstand with historic greats like Sam Rivers and Mal Waldron; modern monsters like John Meduski or local livewires like Stephanie Porter, bass player Dan O'Brien continually lays down grooves that allow musicians and audiences to shine. Well-versed in over forty varieties of music, with thousands of tunes in his head and hands, O'Brien is equally comfortable on upright or electric. He believes music can (and should) make you smarter than you were before you heard the last tune. When teaching, he alternately coaxes and pushes his students to the understanding that playing music is serious fun.

Artist Statement (Visual Art)

Acrylic on canvas 48"x60". My wife jenny said paint something big.
Acrylic on canvas 48″x60″.

When I was a kid, I would sit in front of the TV sketching — and occasionally driving my sister crazy when I’d challenge her to draw a cat. She always claimed I cheated. Thinking back, maybe she was right. I cheated by practicing. A lot.
But sometimes when you get too much praise for what you do, it can cause problems. I won some awards, made some grownups jealous and ended up taking a 15-year break to learn how to become a bass player (I ended up traveling the world to play with some great folks, but that’s another story).
While in New York playing bass, I went to the Matisse retrospective at the Museum of Modern of Art and ended up going back every day for the entire week it was running. At the end of that week, I started painting again.
At that same time, I got excited about painting on the computer. The early programs were crude, but I’ve hung in there with them and the truth is that digital art is just a different kind of paintbrush.
These days, you can find me painting at the computer or standing in front of an easel with a brush in my hand (I also work in inks, pastels and acrylics). I’ll paint a cat if the mood strikes, but mostly I paint what catches my eye.